Video: Saving “Happy Birthday”
Here’s a short video documentary on the sinuous story of that song everybody knows and sings and how overnight it went from being a Warner/Chappell cash cow to the public domain. The affair offers some insight into the often complicated worlds of music publishing and rights management.
For years, global music publisher Warner/Chappell claimed copyright of the “Happy Birthday” song, demanding payment for any public performance of it. Jenn Nelson tells the story of her four-year campaign to prove that the company did not in fact own the rights to the world-famous song, whose tune was composed by two sisters in Kentucky in 1893.